Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Third Victory for VirnetX in FaceTime Patent Case

Joe Mullin:

An order unsealed Friday (PDF) reveals that, not only did a federal judge award VirnetX the full $302 million jury verdict that it won last year, but the judge tacked on $41.3 million in enhanced damages and $96 million in costs, attorneys’ fees, and interest. In all, Apple has been ordered to pay a staggering $439.7 million to VirnetX because its VPN on Demand and FaceTime features were found to infringe VirnetX patents.


Schroeder said enhanced damages were warranted because of Apple’s repeated attempts to stay the litigation due to reviews at the US Patent Office and how the company sought “to inject evidence of the proceedings into the trial, even after receiving adverse rulings from the Court,” Schroeder wrote. He also ruled that Apple’s continued infringement after the first verdict in 2012 could not be justified and therefore must be considered willful.


Apple also created conflicts on the eve of trial, by hiring a jury consultant who used to work for VirnetX during the first trial, as well as a former VirnetX appellate counsel. Apple’s “failure to ensure that its consultant actually had no conflicts unnecessarily complicated the trial,” and the company’s decision to do so warrants the payment of attorneys’ fees related to the third trial, Schroeder held.

Previously: After Patent Loss, Apple Makes FaceTime Worse.

Update (2019-01-18): Cyrus Farivar:

On Tuesday, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit denied Apple’s efforts to overturn a 2016 verdict that imposed $302 million in damages. That figure has since risen to encompass enhanced damages, interest, and more. Many would dub the Nevada-based VirnetX a “patent troll,” as it has no meaningful source of income outside of patent litigation.

Update (2021-01-18): Juli Clover:

Apple has not been successful in reducing the amount of money that it owes VirnetX in patent infringement fees, with the Cupertino company today losing an appeal that would have vacated or reduced a $502.8 million award.


Apple must pay the original $502.8 million that was awarded to VirnetX in October 2020, and combined with a prior $454 million award, the payments, future royalties, and interest could result in Apple paying VirnetX more than $1.1 billion.

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